HDDriver by Uwe Seimet is constantly upgraded - but Cubase Audio Falcon users should be aware that versions above 7.9 of HDDriver WILL NOT WORK properly with CAF. The reason is that Cubase addresses the hardware in some strange ways which wouldn't allow HDDriver to develop further if Cubase Audio compatibility is to be continued. 7.9 is good enough, so there's nothing to worry about - but you shouldn't upgrade to later versions if you use CAF. If you've bought a later version as your first, you can contact Uwe Seimet to receive 7.9 instead.
Line Audio Design have had to discontinue their popular series of Falcon accessories (the JAM and FAD A/D-D/A converters), due to problems to obtain some of the components - and the lack of sales... After the remaining stock (which is very small) is sold, these great units won't be available anymore. :(
SAK (Svenska AtariKlubben) held the annual NAS - Nordic Atari Show - in Malmö for the first time, on 16-17 of June 2001. More about this is available of the club's website.
Mario Becroft has released a couple of interesting gadgets. The first one is a midi interface for ST-machines (not for Falcon with CAF), which connects to the serial port and gives you 3 extra midi outputs.
The other one os a graphics card for the TT, which gives you up to 1280*1024 in 16-bit color on an SVGA-monitor. In the future, this card will also contain a 10mb ethernet interface.
Sad news from SoundPool about their hardware for Atari. They've stopped manufacturing their useful units on a regular basis, which means they're selling as long as their stock lasts. One possibility to make them manufacture again is to place an order of 50 units of the same kind, but in my opinion, that's probably an unrealistic thing to hope for :( So, if you have need for their superb stuff, now is the time to place an order - tomorrow it may be too late and you'll have to wait for ages until they have enough orders to start a manufacturing batch :(
However, their software will be available for a long time yet - even though updates may be a bit slow because they have to concentrate mostly on the market that brings in the big bucks...
SAK - the well-known swedish Atari club celebrates it's 15th year this year (2000) - just like Steinberg, the also very well-known company...
A sad day for the Atari users. Centek have vanished from the market and won't release any more of their useable stuff.
Mario Becroft has finally released the QWERTYX adapter. It's an adapter which will allow you to connect a standard PC keyboard and a standard PC mouse to your Atari. Simply great since original products are becoming harder to come by all the time - and since the PC products are of higher quality. Another advantage is that PC keyboards and mice come in a huge variety, so you can always find a model that suits your tase (apart from the lack of a Fuji logo...).
A new initiative has been taken by some old Atarian musicians in Sweden. A virtual record company has been formed in Sweden, which is only present on the web. One of the nice things about it is that no musician is refused - the goal is to publish all music the musicians themselves want to publish. The handling is very simple: you check out the music either by artist or by genre, listen to the songs in Real Audio format and then you can add them to your shopping cart. Some of the artists sell CD's too and these can also be added to the cart. You check out with your credit card on a safe page and it's done - almost... Now, if you bought separate songs, you have to download them in MP3-format - and if you bought a CD, you'll have to wait a couple of days until the artist himself sends it to you. Most of the money goes directly to the artist and some to the company hosting the site, so the musicians are always in focus and their interests are first at hand. What? Oh - I almost forgot... ;)www.swebmusic.com is the address.
Centek have been selling their CenTurbo2 accellerator for some time now and they're planning a third batch after selling totally 192 cards to speed-hungry Falcon owners. If you plan on accellerating your Falcon, don't hesitate - this is the best card available.
HDDriver 7.6x has been released from Uwe Seimet.
Mario Becroft has released a serial mouse interface, which enables you to use a standard PC mouse, trackball or whatever to your Atari machine (or Amiga if you have one of those too...).
New from Line Audio Design is an interface series called FAD (Falcon Audio Digital), which have the same data as the world famous JAM-interfaces, but with unbalanced RCA jacks instead of the balanced 1/4" jacks in the JAM. The size is different too: 120*95*35mm - and the price is even lower than the JAM. FAD comes in three different models: 2in+2out, 2in+8out and 8out.
News from SoundPool are that CDRecorder has been updated to version 2.32 and among other things it's capable of writing CD's that are useable in your sampler. This is done by taking an exact copy of a SCSI-HD that's been written by the sampler (TOS can't read it, but the sampler will use it without any problems - quite amazing...). If you have a separate SCSI CD-ROM player besides your CD-writer, you can also copy any "forreign format" CD-ROM, so you're able to make backups of your CD-ROM's for the sampler. I've tested this on my K2000 and on other samplers, like Yamaha A3000, EMU ESI32, AKAI S1000, where it has worked like clockwork. However, if you have a mixed CD, with both data and audio, the audio can't be copied this way - only the raw data will be copied to the new CD and the audio won't be readable as audio.
SoundPool have also developed a surround encoder program, which I haven't tested yet, but it seems very interesting. They plan on supporting the new, faster clones - like the Hades and other that will hit the market soon...
They also have a new product, the DeNoiser, which removes noise from your recordings - in real-time or from existing audio files. A "noise-print" is taken from the recording in a place you define that should be quiet (best to define a range right before the song actually starts) and after that, you just let the program do it's work and remove the unwanted noise - quite amazing!
There are still more DSP-programs being made by SoundPool to be released soon.
Demo versions and free updates of all SoundPool programs are available on their site, www.soundpool.de .
If you have need for connecting more than one cartridge to your computer, there are two solutions available: One from Line Audio Design with three cartridge slots and one from C-lab with four slots. In both of them, you switch between the cartridges with a switch (neither of them is automatic) and it works very well. C-lab's box is a plastic box that's placed on the side of the computer. Line Audio Design's box is a metal shielded box and they're working on a solution for those with tower cases too - something that to my knowledge isn't planned by C-lab...
Swedish readers are welcome to my spare-time business, Holmerup Musik & Data, which you can find here, or if your browser doesn't support Java, via the startpage www.holmerup.org (all in swedish for the moment), where I try to make Atari related products available to the small swedish market. E-mail to my company is: firstname.lastname@example.org . Since I run this business beside a full-time job, I can't have much contact over the phone (it would invade my personal life too much, which would mean that I would have to end the business), so I urge everyone to use e-mail.
Steinberg won't develop ANY Atari related software anymore (not even for the new, faster clones). There may be future bug fixes of Cubase Audio for the Falcon, but not even that is guaranteed - no more upgrades and no new functions in CAF are planned - we're stuck with what we already have (which actually isn't bad - but could be better). That's a big loss to all us users, but we have to understand that they have to work with the platforms where they actually sell something and the Atari platform simply is too small to make a living from.
Naturally, you might have a comment about us Atari users being the reason Steinberg became as big as they are. This is true, but since hardly any new users are generated, they can't write new versions without getting enough payment for the releases - and the old users simply wouldn't pay enough for the few new functions that the ageing hardware would be able to handle. The new clones aren't Falcon compatible, so Steinberg would probably have to rewrite very large parts of CAF to make it compatible and it simply wouldn't be profitable in the end for them.
SoundPool plan to support the new clones that are released and they're currently working on some adaptions. Since Steinberg have dropped the Atari line completely, SoundPool may be able to make enough business out of the Atari market yet - and maybe they've written their software in a more hardware independent way than Steinberg and therefore have a little easier task rewriting the necessary parts.